The high school chapter of my life is over and done. I closed that page on June 8th of 2015. On July 14th of 2015, I opened the page leading into the next chapter: College. It’s exciting, and my orientation only proved to me that I had all the reason to be and more.

The actual orientation went really well. I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but I figured I’d be ready for anything. I only had a vague idea of where we had to check in for orientation, but I had a feeling I’d run into at least one person. Sure enough, as I crossed the street some guy stopped me said, “Hey, are you here for the orientation?”  I told him yeah, and it turns out that we were literally across the street from where we were supposed to be. Already I had met someone and basically made a new friend. Now, this is a huge step for me because, initially, I am a very shy guy. When I say shy, I mean that, during my high school orientation, some guy befriended me and basically introduced me to everyone else.*

30 minutes after check-in, I’d checked in my book-bag, gotten my I.D picture taken, and found out that the first person I met wasn’t in the same break-out group as I was.** It was a little unnerving, but I told myself that I’d have to network and make new friends regardless. I found out I was in the red team, and at first, that simply meant I was in a different group than someone I met, but after orientation, it became a group of friends of whom I hope to have long-lasting friendships with.

We started with the usual ice breakers, and I learned that there was only a couple of us actually from Chicago. A few more people were from suburbs, and everyone else was from out of state. The main thing that I found appealing though was the fact that we were a very diverse group. Different ethnicities and origins that all blend together to form one unique experience that will continue for at least 4 more years.

Throughout the day, we went to all of our presentations, and we all got to know each other a little better hour after hour. Eventually, when all the important stuff was over, we had time to hang-out and do whatever we wanted. Bowling, foosball, darts, 7/11 late at night, playing piano for my new friends, exploring the bowels of the Fowler basement; all in all, it was a good time. I got to meet a lot of interesting people I would have never met before, and I managed to get a small taste of what’s to come in August.

Red team best team, class of 2015, college-bound. I am ready to indulge in the next part of my life. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst, and dive in like you have no other choice.

Until tomorrow, or next time, whichever comes first.

*We weren’t really friends, but he was a cool person. Though I didn’t really stay “friends” so to speak with most of the people he introduced me to, it did make the transition from grammar to high school a lot easier. Speaking of which, I also had a dream about my old school, but that’s a story for another day.

**Red team best team!

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